Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 26, 2013

The National Association for College Admission Counseling's Board of Directors has accepted the recommendations of a panel charged with evaluating the use of commissioned agents in international student recruiting. This is just one in a series of steps toward any possible changes in NACAC's standards: the board has asked the association's Admission Practices Committee to draft an amendment reflecting the commission's recommendations for consideration by the NACAC Assembly at the annual meeting in September. 

In its report, NACAC's Commission on International Student Recruitment recommended that the association lift its existing ban on the use of commissioned agents in international recruiting while at the same time discouraging the practice. Specifically, the commission recommended that NACAC's "Standards of Principles of Good Practice" be revised to stipulate that members "should not" (but not "may not") engage in incentive-based recruiting overseas and calls upon NACAC to consider adopting mandatory practices in regards to issues of institutional accountability, integrity and transparency for those colleges that choose to work with commissioned agents regardless.

July 26, 2013

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, one of the major providers of massive open online courses, appeared on "The Colbert Report" this week, where he faced some questions on MOOCs that journalists had previously failed to ask him, at least not the Stephen Colbert way. After Agarwal explained the basic concept of MOOCs, Colbert asked if he was talking about the University of Phoenix. After Agarwal explained that MOOCs are free, Colbert said that if he owned a shoe store, and Agarwal was an employee and suggested giving away shoes for free, "I would fire you and throw shoes at your head."

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2013

Not many universities see their names in Google's bright lights. But on Thursday, the search giant celebrated (through its most visible icon, the daily-changing Doodle on its home page) Rosalind Franklin, after whom suburban Chicago's Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is named. Franklin played a significant (but underappreciated) role in the discovery and description of the double helix structure of DNA, through the use of x-ray diffraction. The university, formerly known as Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, took Franklin's name in 2004, and its marketing department suggested that Google honor her with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 93rd birthday. She died in 1958.

July 26, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Richard Borowsky of New York University explains the connection between sleep and the loss of vision in cave-dwelling fish species. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 26, 2013

Authorities have charged Robert Ferrante, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh, with killing his wife, Autumn Klein, a neurologist at the university, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The charges state that Ferrante killed his wife with cyanide that he had shipped to his lab. Ferrante's lawyer said that the charges were false.

July 26, 2013

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a sexual assault complaint at Cedarville University, campus officials said in an unusually proactive acknowledgement. “As a Christ-centered university, Cedarville is committed to honoring the principles of the Bible that shape how we care for others,” President Thomas White said in a statement. The complaint -- one of many recently filed under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination -- alleges that the university lacked a Title IX coordinator and "prompt and equitable" procedures for resolving Title IX complaints on campus.

The statement said that Cedarville has been reviewing its sexual harassment policies since OCR’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, which stated colleges must have the provisions the university is alleged to have lacked.

July 26, 2013

Leslie Berlowitz will resign as president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences next week, the organization announced Thursday. She will receive a one-time payment of $475,000, which an academy statement said reflected previously pledged retirement benefits. Berlowitz has been under fire -- and on paid leave -- since shortly after The Boston Globe revealed in June that she did not have a doctorate she claimed to have on various documents submitted by the academy in seeking grants. Subsequent Globe articles raised questions about her management of the organization, and allegations that she did not treat staff members well. In a letter published in the Globe Thursday, Berlowitz wrote that she was "tempted" to provide a response to all of the issues that have been raised in recent months, but opted not to do so. "I believe there is only one fact of consequence that bears mentioning: I always acted in good faith and with the best interests of the academy at heart," she wrote.

July 25, 2013

Forbes, which this week unveiled its latest college rankings, banished four institutions for two years. The four that will not be eligible for the next two years are Claremont McKenna and Iona Colleges, and Bucknell and Emory Universities -- all of which have admitted to reporting false data in past year to various entities. "As a penalty for their dishonesty – and an acknowledgment of the growing scope of the problem – we are removing the four institutions from our list of the country’s best schools for two years," said an article in the magazine. Of course those are only some of the colleges that have admitted to false reporting in the last 18 months. Michael Noer, executive editor at Forbes, said that some of the other colleges that reported false data didn't do so to Forbes or to data sets used by Forbes. So only those "that lied about data we used" were punished.

 

July 25, 2013

A Bloomberg article explores the power of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, known as FratPAC. The article describes how the political action committee has discouraged anti-hazing legislation (saying it is not needed) while protecting tax breaks for Greek houses.

 

July 25, 2013

A new Gallup Poll has found that most American adults oppose the consideration of race in admissions decisions. The poll question asked whether "applicants should be admitted solely on the basis of merit, even if that results in few minority applicants being admitted" or "an applicant's racial and ethnic background should be considered to help promote diversity on college campuses, even if that means admitting some minority students who might not otherwise be admitted," a large majority picked the former. There was no racial group for which a majority picked the latter, although more black Americans picked the latter than the former (by a narrow margin).

Here are results:

  Solely on Merit Consider Race
All 67% 28%
White 75% 22%
Black 44% 48%
Latino 59% 31%

Breakdowns were not provided for Asian Americans.

Inside Higher Ed works with Gallup on a number of survey projects, but played no role in this poll.

Gallup's results mirrored those of a recent poll by The Washington Post-ABC.

 

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